Residents of Accra West Region who get their water supply from the Weija Water Treatment Plant face an imminent water crisis, which the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) is blaming on erratic power supply.
For over three weeks now, many residents of Accra West, including places like Dansoman, Lapaz, and Kaneshie, have been experiencing very low pressure or no water flow at all.
Water supply to Accra West could be curtailed completely should the low power and high current situation persist longer.
Weija produces 40 million gallons of water a day.
Dr Clifford Braimah, Managing Director of GWCL, told The Finder that the mishap is caused by erratic power supply from Power Distribution Services (PDS).
Low or very high power forces frequent shutdowns
According to him, the Weija Water Treatment Plant has been battling frequent low or very high power supply, which forces GWCL to shut down the plant during such times to avoid damage to the plant.
Situation worsened 2 months ago
Even though the situation has been an age-old one, Engineer Asomani Nyarko of Accra West GWCL told The Finder that the situation has worsened ever since Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) relocated a transmitter station about two months ago to pave way for the construction of the Pokuase interchange.
What causes low pressure?
He said anytime the low or high current situation lasts longer, the water in the pipelines runs out.
Therefore, he said, when power normalises and the plant is switched on, it takes about two to three days to restore full pressure.
Engineer Nyarko explained that frequent low or high current, which leads to frequent shutdowns, results in the low pressure in the pipelines.
Power surge damaged Weija pump on Monday
Dr Braimah disclosed that a power surge last Monday damaged the pump at Weija Water Treatment Plant, and GWCL engineers had to work round the clock to replace it.
GWCL has no standby power plant at any of its stations nationwide
He revealed that due to the high financial cost, there is no single GWCL water treatment that has its own standby power plant to switch on in the event of prolonged power cut from the electricity provider.
GWCL considers hydro dams at pumping stations
He disclosed that plans are in the pipeline to construct hydro dams at water-pumping stations to generate electricity for the plants.
Feasibility studies on hydro dams
Dr Braimah told The Finder that feasibility studies on the hydro dams for the Mampong and Barekese treatment plants in the Ashanti Region and Weija in the Greater Accra Region have been completed.
Technical staff reviewing feasibility studies report
According to him, the reports on the feasibility studies have been submitted to technical staff of GWCL for review and approval.
Another hydro technology under consideration
Dr Braimah announced that some expatriates would arrived in the country soon to examine the possibility of using some new technologies to also build hydro plants at the various water treatment plants.
GWCL produces 192 million gallons per day
GWCL currently produces 192 million gallons per day on the average, as against the 249 million gallons demanded every day.
57 Million gallons shortfall
The GWCL should produce additional 57 million gallons of water a day to achieve a 100 per cent water coverage in urban areas at current demands.
GWCL serves 550,654 customers
The company serves 550,654 customers in all urban areas, which translates into a 77 per cent coverage of urban areas.
Source: The Finder